At one of the NGEE Arctic sites in the Seward Peninsula, near the town of Council, Alaska, the Dream Team—myself, Oriana Chafe, Margaret Torn (NG Arctic team lead), Stan Wullschleger (NG Arctic PI), Mark Conrad, Bryan Curtis and Sigrid Dengel (AMP) (see photo, left to right)—is flying a DGI model Inspire-1 UAS (unmanned aircraft system, or drone). The controls are in my expert (certified!) hands. We’re using the UAS to document the state of the vegetation and the topography at the onset of the new project site (first year) using near-infrared and visible imagery.
This is the stage of characterizing, as we’re scoping for future research site. There’s already a Korean flux tower nearby (part of Korea Polar Research Institute). We are looking to add a new eddy covariance tower, and the UAS will help to find a relatively homogeneous area in a complicated large watershed.
In the photo, look at the roadway below the red gas generator — that’s the shadow of “Flux-Fly” – our drone!